This simply sounds like sour grapes directed toward Obama supporters, but McCain and his ilk are not saying these things to upset Obama’s base. Right-wing politicians are trying to stir up their Obama-hating base so they will come to the polls in 2014. They’ll worry about 2016 after the mid-term elections.
When he appeared on MSNBC and CNN Thursday afternoon, shortly after news broke of the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that had been shot down over Ukraine, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) warned that if Russia turned out to be responsible, there would be “hell to pay.” But by the time he joinedSean Hannity on Fox News last night, he had turned his outrage directly at President Barack Obama.
“It’s just been cowardly,” McCain said. “It’s a cowardly administration that we failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves.” He speculated that the Russian separatists who allegedly shot down the plane “may not even have occupied and had access to these weapons, which apparently they got at an airfield,” if the U.S. had intervened earlier in the Ukrainian conflict with Russia.
McCain then told Hannity what he would do in response to the deadly crash:
“First, give the Ukrainians weapons to defend themselves and regain their territory. Second of all, move some of our troops in to areas that are being threatened by Vladimir Putin, in other countries like the Baltics and others. Move missile defense into the places where we got out of, like the Czech Republic and Poland and other places. And impose the harshest possible sanctions on Vladimir Putin and Russia. And that’s just for openers.”
And just like that, the likely accidental shooting down of a Malaysian plane carrying mostly Dutch passengers by Russian separatists in Ukraine is President Obama’s fault.
Sen. John McCain’s outrageous claim that the current president of the United States is responsible for the problems in Iraq is wholly and completely irrational. His statement is supporting evidence to my theory that every politician should get tested for senility after age 70. Just sayin’…
Welcome to John McCain’s world, the world in which the U.S. won a tremendous victory in the Iraq War, only to see that victory thrown out the window by none other than the guy who beat him in 2008:
Rising bloodshed in Iraq has Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) convinced that failure of the American military effort there now falls on President Obama’s shoulders.McCain went on Fox News on Tuesday morning to once again blast Obama for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq and ending U.S. involvement in the unpopular war.
“Could I just say, we could have left a residual force behind,” McCain insisted. “It could have been done.” […] He indicated that the U.S. “had won with a great sacrifice,” but the Obama administration “blew the whole thing.”
So we go to war with a country that did not attack us on the basis of a claim that it posed a threat that it did not actually pose, the war ends up taking nearly a decade while costing thousands of American lives and thousands more Iraqi lives, it weakens our position both home and abroad, and yet President Obama is the one who screwed up because he brought the misguided military adventure to an end?
That’s seriously crazy. As is this:
McCain said the U.S. should “get some people over there at a high level” to provide counsel to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Because you know what he really means is that they should advise him to ask the United States military to return the country and restart the war we left behind. Fortunately, there’s no appetite for that at the White House, based on this answer by Press Secretary Jay Carney atMonday’s briefing:
Q: John McCain, Lindsay Graham, and some others say that some of what is happening on the ground in Iraq is a consequence of the U.S. completely pulling out. And they say that the administration should learn a lesson from that and not go to the so-called zero option in Afghanistan. Is the President looking at what’s happening in Iraq and applying that to his decision making on Afghanistan in any way?MR. CARNEY: Well, I would say a couple of things about that. I don’t think — I’ve heard members of Congress suggest this, but if members were suggesting that there should be American troops fighting and dying in Fallujah today, they should say so. The President doesn’t believe that. If they believe that we should not end our combat mission in Afghanistan, they should say so.
That’s pretty much what they’re saying now, and it’s what they said in 2008, but no matter how much they say it, it’s not what Americans want—and it’s not what would be good for the country. Iraq was a colossal mistake. And that’s something John McCain clearly still does not understand.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) channeled his inner-maverick Friday during an appearance on Fox News Channel, repeatedly reminding the conservative network that the government shutdown was brought about by the quixotic effort to halt the Affordable Care Act.
When anchor Martha MacCallum asked him about the White House’s handling of the suspension of death benefits to military families, McCain said that while the administration deserves blame it was a GOP-induced shutdown that caused the problem in the first place.
“Let’s have a little straight talk, Martha,” McCain said. “[The administration] wouldn’t have had the opportunity to handle it that way if we had not shut down the government on a fool’s errand that we were not going to accomplish. The whole premise of shutting down the government was the repeal of Obamacare. I fought against Obamacare harder than any of the people who wanted to shut down the government.”
Republicans have offered up a litany of excuses for filibustering former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel’s appointment as Defense Secretary, and none of them make a lot of sense. But the award of biggest fail belongs to John McCain. John McCain filibustered Hagel yesterday over Hagel’s criticism of Bush, but in 2008 McCain’s harsh unleashing on Bush left no stone unturned.
Republicans are supposed to be rebranding their party, but instead, they’re busy making history by filibustering a defense secretary nominee. This is the first time the filibuster has been used against a defense secretary nominee (note: Republicans are pretending it wasn’t a filibuster). Perhaps Republicans aren’t concerned about national security after all.
Of the many reasons given for obstructing the Republican nominee, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) offered the most insane. After McCain threatened to block Hagel unless the Obama administration answered his questions about Benghazi (McCain was too busy giving interviews on camera complaining about the lack of information on Benghazi to actually attend one of the briefings on Benghazi), and the Obama administration complied, McCain moved the goal post again. Now he’s holding a grudge over Hagel’s criticism of Bush. Apparently McCain thinks that aligning the party with George W Bush will be helpful.
To be honest with you Neil, it goes back to there is a lot of ill will towards Senator Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush mercilessly. At one point said he was the worst President since Herbert Hoover. Said the surge was the worst blunder since the Vietnam War which is nonsense. And was very anti his own party and people. People don’t forget that.
If “people” (aka: Republicans) are as petty as McCain said they are, then that would mean that the Republican Party put their grudges about Bush ahead of national security.
This probably isn’t the best argument McCain could have made for the GOP poutrage vote.
Furthermore, this is the same McCain who told the Washington Times in October of 2008 that he rejected many of Bush’s failed policies, and that he would not be four more years of W. McCain listed Bush’s many failures:
“Spending, the conduct of the war in Iraq for years, growth in the size of government, larger than any time since the Great Society, laying a $10 trillion debt on future generations of America, owing $500 billion to China, obviously, failure to both enforce and modernize the [financial] regulatory agencies that were designed for the 1930s and certainly not for the 21st century, failure to address the issue of climate change seriously,” Mr. McCain said in an interview with The Washington Times aboard his campaign plane en route from New Hampshire to Ohio.
“Those are just some of them,” he said with a laugh, chomping into a peanut butter sandwich as a few campaign aides in his midair office joined in the laughter.
Those are harsh words. McCain spared Bush nothing, raking him over the coals on his out of control spending, his financial regulatory agency failures, his $10 trillion debt, and of course, “(T)he conduct of the war in Iraq for years”, accused the man who now claims that criticizing the surge is a reason Hagel should not be nominated. Americans await McCain voting against himself, should he be nominated for anything, because people don’t forget.
41 Republicans voted against Hagel’s nomination to head the Pentagon, but he did get 4 votes from Republicans, giving him close the number he needs to overcome a Republican filibuster (essentially 59, he needs 60).
McCain admitted that Hagel is likely to be confirmed after recess, which sounded exactly like it reads: After Republicans get over their preschool recess pout, they will concede that — SIGH — having someone running the Pentagon is probably a decent idea. However, they will have achieved their goal of undermining Hagel and Obama in the eyes of the world, since Hagel will miss a defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels next week. Republicans must be pleased to force America’s defense secretary out of the NATO conference. This is coming from the party that made security at Benghazi an issue. They’d better hope nothing happens unitl they come back from recess. USA! USA! USA!
We can only hope that the rest of the world understands that Republicans are a minority insurgent party that doesn’t represent most Americans, and thus their lack of support is indicative of nothing other than their hurt feelings that they lost yet another national election. Hagel, after all, represents a stark rebuke of the modern day Republican Party. Hagel called out the Iraq debacle at the time, and although he supported McCain’s 2000 run, by 2008 he had drifted to the center (also known as away from crazy).
McCain’s latest excuse is just another reactionary hit, aimed at the messenger instead of the problem. Hagel’s criticisms were valid, and the neo cons will never forgive him for being right. The Republican Senators’ temper tantrum over Hagel should be recalled the next time a Republican tries to suggest that the problem in DC is that Obama won’t work with them.
When Chuck Hagel sits before the Senate Armed Services Committee, one face staring back at him will be decidedly familiar — that of Arizona Sen. John McCain.
McCain, the ranking Minority member on Armed Services, and Hagel were once inseparable — two decorated Vietnam veterans who found common-cause in rebelling against their own party orthodoxy. McCain campaigned for Hagel in the latter’s first race back in 1996 – here’s visual evidence — and Hagel was one of four Senators to endorse McCain’s 2000 presidential bid. The duo even had Senate offices close to one another to stay in constant touch.
Now, the two mens’ friendship has, by most accounts, dissolved entirely. McCain, in a statement shortly after Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense was made official Monday, said that he has “serious concerns about positions Senator Hagel has taken on a range of critical national security issues in recent years.”
So, what happened? And why?
The answer, as you might suspect, isn’t a simple one. One Republican familiar with the two men insisted there was “no blow up or argument really” and that Hagel simply “stopped coming by the office or socializing outside the Senate.” In conversations with a number of people familiar with the relationship, however, it’s clear that a combination of policy disagreements, political slights and personality conflicts led to the collapse of a once-close friendship.
The most obvious break in the McCain-Hagel relationship came in the early 2000s over the war in Iraq. While Hagel, like McCain, voted for the use of force resolution against Iraq, he was always wary of America going it alone in the conflict and, as time wore on, became a more and more outspoken critic of the war.
McCain, on the other hand, remained a stalwart defender of the necessity of the war and went on later in the decade to become the face of the surge strategy to put more troops in the country. Hagel opposed that strategy and panned it repeatedly.
“Quite simply, the split began over the length and cost of the Iraq war and Hagel’s decision to not support the surge, which John took as a personal insult,” said one McCain ally granted anonymity to speak candidly about the relationship. “It’s very sad.”
While a disagreement over the right course of action in Iraq might have been the biggest factor in the dissolution of the friendship, politics also played a role in the split.
While Hagel was intimately involved in McCain’s 2000 presidential bid — he served as national co-chairman and was in New Hampshire the night the Arizona Senator won the Granite State presidential primary — by the time McCain ran for president again in 2008 Hagel was much less on board.
Adding to their policy and political disagreements, there was (and is) the fact that McCain and Hagel are similar enough in terms of their personalities — hard charging, irascible, certain that their deeply-held beliefs are correct — that they were always destined to be either best friends or the exact opposite. Put simply: The very personality traits that made McCain and Hagel fast friends in the mid 1990s is what has driven them apart in the last few years.
While no one disputes that the once-close relationship is in tatters, one source familiar with the two men voiced hope that the break is temporary, not permanent. ”It’s like brothers who get in a big fight and don’t talk for a while.” said the source. “They’re still brothers.”
Maybe. How McCain treats Hagel during the confirmation process will be a telling indicator of whether a reconciliation is in the offing or whether the relationship has been irreparably damaged.
Just three days after the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said there were “demonstrations” at the U.S. diplomatic mission there and that the attackers “seized this opportunity to attack our consulate.” McCain also said during this Sept. 14 press conference on Capitol Hill that he wasn’t certain whether al-Qaeda perpetrated the assault.
Yet McCain has been leading a smearcampaign against U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice for essentially making the same assessment two days later on the Sept. 16 Sunday talks shows. Making clear that a more thorough forthcoming investigation would provide better information for “definitive conclusions,” here’s what Rice said about the Benghazi attack on that day, from CBS’s Face the Nation:
SUSAN RICE: Based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy — sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that — in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.
McCain has since blasted Rice for making this assessment. Here’s what McCain said on CNN last month during the height of his smear campaign against the U.N. Ambassador:
MCCAIN: It was obvious within 24 hours that the station chief from the CIA had said this was a terrorist attack. It was obvious to one and all that this was not a “spontaneous demonstration” because in real time, they saw there was no demonstration. … Everybody knew that it was an al Qaeda attack, and she continued to tell the world through all of the talk shows that it was a “spontaneous demonstration” sparked by a video. That is not competence in my view
But McCain’s analysis of what occurred in Benghazi in the days after the attack on Sept. 14 mirrors Rice’s assessment during her Sept. 16 Sunday show appearances, saying that the attackers took advantage of a demonstration at the U.S. diplomatic mission:
MCCAIN: It’s hard to know exactly what took place and how long it was planned, and — I don’t have that information. I know very well that there were demonstrations, that there was a group of either al-Qaida or some radical Islamists who — about 15 of them, armed with RPGs and other lethal weapons, that seized this opportunity to attack our consulate. And it was an act of terror. It wasn’t an act of a mob getting out of control. We should understand that. This was a calculated act of terror on the part of a small group of jihadists, not a mob that somehow attacked and sacked our embassy.
So both McCain and Susan Rice believed at roughly the same point after the the Sept. 11 Benghazi attacks that the terrorists took advantage of a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Islam video at the U.S. diplomatic mission there. And like Rice, McCain couldn’t say definitively if it was al Qaeda. When asked if it was al-Qaeda during his Sept. 14 press conference, McCain said, “It certainly was extremist elements. If it’s not al-Qaida, it’s certainly one of the affiliated organizations.”
As is now known, on Sept. 16, Rice was presenting the assessment of what happened in Benghazi that was given to her by the U.S. intelligence community and that assessment turned out to be inaccurate. CIA officials initially thought that al Qaeda was responsible for the attack, but intelligence officials agreed that a more general term of “extremists” would suffice in Rice’s talking points.
The Arizona Republican has also claimed that Rice should have changed her assessment because shortly before her appearance on Face the Nation, a top Libyan official “said that this was an al Qaeda attack.” But in fact, the official, Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf, didn’t give a definitive assessment and said only “a few of them” were connected to the terror group, and that others were “affiliates and maybe sympathizers.” But even if el-Magariaf had been more sure, it would have been irresponsible for Rice to endorse and share a view she knew to be inconsistent with what U.S. intelligence officials had provided.
The irascible douche now acknowledges there is no evidence that Susan Rice was responsible for editing CIA talking points after the Benghazi attack, and that the DNI gave her what she subsequently went on TV with. End of scandal. No formal retractionor apology of course:
Today’s news comes just a week after McCain went on national television and claimed that Rice’s “talking points came from the White House, not from the DNI. He added on Fox that “I think it’s patently obvious that the talking points that Ambassador Rice had didn’t come from the CIA. It came from the White House.” For weeks, McCain has lambasted the administration forengaging in “either a cover-up or the worst kind of incompetence” on the Benghazi attack.
Of course, McCain believed it was perfectly obvious that Saddam had WMDs in Iraq. And so did I. I’ve learned to wait for the facts a little bit longer before jumping to conclusions of conspiracy or mendacity.
On Monday night’s edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow discussed how Republicans are doing themselves a disservice by allowing Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to be their de facto leader and spokesperson on foreign policy.
Maddow began the segment by discussing President Barack Obama’s historic visits to Myanmar and Cambodia, the first time a sitting U.S. president has ever visited those countries. However, because of the pressing nature of events in the Middle East, Obama spent most of his press conference in Thailand, the third stop on his Asian visit, discussing Israel and Gaza, where tensions have flared over the last week.
“When you are the president, the presidency travels with you,” she said, “and when international crises happen, you weigh in, no matter where you are.”
The president, our closest ally Britain and much of the world are united around the position that Israel should, yes, be allowed to defend itself, but are urging the Israeli government to restrain itself with regards to launching a bloody, costly ground invasion of Gaza.
Everyone agrees on this, Maddow said, except for “one rogue state,” which she then corrected to “one red state,” before rolling footage of U.S. Republicans calling for the invasion of Gaza.
“The whole world calling for de-escalation, until Republicans go on morning news programs,” she said.
Maddow went on to say that the Republican Party is currently rudderless on foreign policy. Their presidential ticket combined a pair of foreign policy neophytes whose policy prescriptions abroad were mostly pale imitations of the president’s. Now that we are standing at the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, neocons in disgrace, what is the Republicans’ overarching world view?
“There is nobody in charge,” she said, “and that means, by default, that the guy who gets to be in charge is the guy who says he ought to be, the guy who says he’s the real Republican Party expert on foreign policy.” And for the Republican Party, that man is Sen. John McCain.
McCain, she said, is “leading the charge” to politicize the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Not only does McCain now say that he would block the nomination of Amb. Susan Rice to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but that he will block any and all nominations Pres. Obama makes for the position of Secretary of State until he sees the information he claims he wants to see regarding the attacks.
“This is coming from the man who failed to show up for the three hour, classified briefing in his committee last week,” Maddow said. He is so fired up about the issue, she said, that he’s willing for the country to go without a Secretary of State until he is satisfied with what he has been told about Benghazi.
The Arizona Senator got snippy with reporters twice in one week, reminding us all that it doesn’t take much to make the Maverick lose his cool
A disgruntled-looking John McCain talks with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on November 15, 2011.
This was a rough week for John McCain. On Thursday, the Arizona senator and former GOP presidential nominee missed a classified briefing on the Benghazi consulate attack because he was busy holding a press conference about the lack of information about that very consulate attack. Pressed to comment on the mix-up by a CNN reporter, McCain snapped. “I have no comment about my schedule and I’m not going to comment on how I spend my time to the media,” he told CNN‘s Ted Barrett. “I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?”
On Wednesday, a reporter asked McCain if the David Petraeus sex scandal posed a greater threat to national security than the Benghazi attack. A perturbed McCain responded: “With great respect, that’s one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard.”
Of course, McCain has a long history of losing his cool in public. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and reflect on four of the Maverick’s sassiest moments:
1. McCain vs. the “little jerk” (2007): During a question-and-answer session at campaign stop in New Hampshire, one young audience member asked McCain if his age might impact his ability to lead the country, and wondered allowed whether the Republican worried about dying in office. McCain: “Thanks for the question, you little jerk.”
2. McCain vs. The New York Times (2008): On a plane ride in 2008, McCain got grumpy with New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller after she questioned him about a 2004 meeting he had with John Kerry, during which Kerry hinted at a VP slot for McCain. “You know it,” McCain insisted. “You know it. So I don’t even know why you asked.”
3. McCain vs. Sen. Max Baucus (2009): During a Senate debate on health care costs, McCain became “visibly peeved at Sen. Max Baucus,” and even stepped out from behind his podium to angrily point his finger around the room. When Baucus relentlessly interjected, McCain snapped,“If the senator keeps interrupting he is violating the rules of the Senate. I thought he would have learned them by now.”
4.McCain vs. hecklers (2012): While stumping for Republican Senate candidate Jeff Flake in Arizona, McCain took on a group of hecklers in the crowd, calling them jerks and telling them to shut up. He also stuck his tongue out at them. “I’m getting too old to put up with jerks like you,” he said.